To learn how well long-lasting permethrin impregnated clothing protects against tick bites and tick-borne illness among outdoor workers at high risk for tick bites. In the northeastern U.S., tick-borne disease is a public health crisis and an occupational hazard for many different groups of outdoor workers. In our region, ticks can spread diseases like Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, relapsing fever, viral encephalitis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. We are interested in evaluating tick repellent (TR) clothing, the wearable personal protection against tick bites, in a field test among outdoor workers.
To assess how well TR clothing protects outdoor workers against tick bites, we will conduct a randomized effectiveness study to compare the tick bite, tick exposure, and tick-related illness experiences of study subjects wearing permethrin impregnated clothing (treated commercially by Insect Shield) compared to study subjects wearing untreated clothing. Study participants will be randomly assigned either to the group wearing treated workwear or to the control group, wearing normal workwear. Since participants will not know which group they are in, we will ask all participants to continue to use their regular tick bite prevention measures during the study.
We are looking for healthy males and females at least 18 years of age who:
This study is being conducted by researchers at the University of Rhode Island and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with the cooperation of the RI Department of Environment Management (RIDEM), NationalGrid, Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The study is funded through a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) grant.
If you are interested in participating in this study or would like more information, please plan on attending one of our informational sessions. These sessions will be held from November 2015 through February 2016 at locations throughout Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. Contact the study coordinator at TICStudyRI@gmail.com to find out when the next session will be held near you.
Your participation in this study will last for 2 years. You will be asked to: provide your work clothing for treatment with either long-lasting permethrin or water (randomly assigned), provide an annual blood sample to test for tick-borne diseases, submit weekly tick encounter log entries (March-November), and submit any attached ticks for testing (free). Your participation will help scientists in developing safe and effective tick-bite protection for outdoor workers.